<June 20, 2008>

Rudder Bearing Blocks

I've been putting in long hours at work for the past few weeks so not much has been done on the RV. The good news is that my big work project is now complete, and my schedule is settling down somewhat. With this in mind I decided to make today a "Me" day and took the day off from work. No phone, no email, no diapers, just RV and whatever else I want to do today. It was forecast to be really hot so I got and early start, as I wasn't sure how long I would last in the heat.

The Rudder Pedal Assemblies wouldn't fit easily into the Bearing Blocks to I took some sandpaper and knocked down the edges a bit. One of the Assemblies was a bit long and had to be trimmed to the length specified on the plans. I only needed to take off 1/16", and the disc sander made real quick work of it.

With the edges sanded smooth, the Rudder Assemblies fit into the bearing blocks with just a little bit of effort. A suggestion... if you are going to mount your rudder pedals now, make sure that the holes in the Rudder Pedal Assemblies are drilled out (with #12) to remove and excess powder coating, or else the bolts won't go into the holes. Ask me how I know.

I used some scrap angle to align Rudder Assemblies with each other.

I then mounted my pilot-side rudder pedals and master cylinders, but ran into an issue when trying to mark the location of hole for the master on the brake pedal. Some builders have used a stubby threaded #12 drill bit here, but I didn't have one so I had to improvise. What I did was to make a marking tool from a spare AN3-7 bolt. I used some scrap angle to hold it in position and a nut driver to turn it as I ground it to a point on the belt sander.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but I had clamped the rudder pedals in alignment with each other using some scrap 1/8" thick AL stock (see bottom picture for an example). With the rudder pedals aligned, I used my new widget to mark the location of the bolt holes for the master cylinders on the side plates. I was just about to get the drill out to drill the holes in the side plates when I had a thought... before I do, I want to install the rudder pedal assembly into the aircraft and check the alignment of everything.

Time to mount the bearing blocks. I am 6'3" so I decided that I would install the first mounting location as far forward as possible. With that in mind, I got out my ruler and pen and marked 3" aft of the firewall on the F-719 Stiffener per the plans.

With both F-719 stiffeners, and a bunch of other stuff removed, I clamped one of the stiffeners to the table and then clamped the Bearing Block to it with its forward edge aligned with the mark I had drawn on the stiffener. I then drilled the Stiffener through the holes in the Bearing Block, drilling another set another 1" and 2" aft of the original mark. This will produce three possible locations for the rudders and should provide plenty of flexibility for the future. I used some Boelube on the bit so as not to overheat the plastic while drilled the AL angle.

Here are the three sets of holes in the first stiffener, with each set being 1" away from one another.

I had a bright idea about how to ensure that both stiffeners are drilled in the same location; I clecoed them together and transferred the location of the block from one to the other. I did this by putting bolts in the Bearing Block and tracking its forward edge onto the Stiffener while it was installed in each position.

Once the side that was drilled was marked, I transferred those lines to the other Stiffener using a square. Now all I have to do is clamp the Bearing Block to the Stiffener with its edge aligned with each line, and drill. The result should be Stiffeners with holes in the exact same position, or so I hope.

With both Stiffeners drilled and reinstalled into the fuselage, I mounted the Rudder Pedal Assemblies. Do you see my error here?

With the Rudder Pedal Assemblies installed, I started work on the F-6118 Rudder Pedal Brace, and realized that the forward edge of the Brace wasn't aligning with the Firewall Angle it mounts to. I didn't think much of it, so I started modifying the Brace to make it fit. After I had completed the modifications, I realized that I had installed the Rudder Pedal Assemblies in the wrong order... D'oh! I removed and reinstalled them in the correct order only to find out that the Brace I had just modified didn't need to be modified and now would not fit correctly given the changes I had made to it. Double D'oh! This picture shows the Rudder Pedal Assemblies in the correct position (order), and while the Brace is clamped into position, I've ordered a replacement from Vans for $7. I started working on the Pedals again, but the outside temp was now just over 100 so I called it quits for the day.